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Tracking changes in land cover and adaptation strategies for food security in momo division, northwest Cameroon

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Economics and Environmental Studies/National Centre for Education, Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovation Yaoundé, Yaoundé Cameroon
  • 2Department of Geography, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, University of Buea, Buea Cameroon

Int. Res. J. Earth Sci., Volume 7, Issue (1), Pages 13-28, January,25 (2019)

Abstract

Momo Division, one of the seven Divisions that make up the Northwest Region in the western highlands of Cameroon has experienced profound mutations in the land cover which has affected agricultural production and the food security situation of its population. It is in furtherance to this that this study was carried out with the main objective of examining the changes in the land cover situation and adaptation strategies of the local farming population to enhanced food production. Vital primary data were gotten through field survey, interviews and focus group discussions while information on the land cover situation was obtained using satellite images for the different observed periods and further complimented by ground truthing and expert judgement of the study area. Secondary data were obtained from both published and unpublished works. The results indicate that the various land parcels under investigation have experienced profound mutations from 1976-2016. However, the rates of change in the land parcels have been observed to be in fluxes. Findings further show that the landscape is largely hilly with lowlands occupying just 21.22%, while highlands 32.89% and the extremely highlands 45.89%. The population of the area has equally been increasing rapidlyand therefore necessitating adaptive measures to improve on farm outputs as agriculture and settlement have been observed to be in conflicts due to the limited land space. The adaptation strategies carried out by the local farming population to enhanced production are said to be unsustainable with spill-over effects that have impacted enormously on the climatic cycles and water regimes of the area. This paper therefore calls for urgent stakeholder intervention in the exploitation of the different land cover types to build the capacities of the rural farming population as resource managers. It concludes by drawing the attention of the State and most especially the local farmers to foster land resources conservation and invest in poverty alleviation initiatives which must be off-farm so as to reduce the huge pressure on the various land parcels under investigation and ensure environmental equity and justice.

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